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World Sailing launches Special Event Sustainability Charter at Cowes SailGP

by World Sailing 9 Aug 23:24 BST 9 August 2019
Sir Russell Coutts, Andy Hunt & the SailGP skippers with sustainability charter plate made from recycled ocean plastic from the North Sea made in the UK © World Sailing

World Sailing has today (Friday 9 August) launched its Special Event Sustainability Charter at Cowes SailGP to ensure world-class sailing competitions showcase the best in the sport and support World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030.

The Special Event Sustainability Charter looks to build on the momentum of sustainability initiatives that have been delivered by some of the special events in recent years.

As part of the Charter, all Special Events will have a comprehensive sustainability strategy, aligned applicable principles set out in Sustainability Agenda 2030, and commit to working with World Sailing to accelerate the objectives and targets.

Click here to view the World Sailing Special Event Sustainability Charter.

SailGP is the first World Sailing Special Event to commit to and activate across the Charter. From its inception, SailGP has been working on developing a comprehensive sustainability strategy that set outs to deliver exemplary sustainability leadership across its operations.

For example, at Cowes SailGP measures are in place to eliminate single use plastics with reusable cups, bottles and refill stations. Event branding is 100% non-PVC and maximises reusability event to event, even down to reusable bungees in place of tie wraps. Even the volunteer t-shirts are 100% organic cotton and fully recyclable. These initiatives were brought to the fore through a beach clean in the build-up to the Cowes event, highlighting the need to turn the tap off plastic waste and the use of non-valued materials.

For a new organisation, the attention to detail at SailGP is impressive even down to the implementation of a food charter with the provision of over 50% plant-based menus and over 80% of locally sourced foods (within 25 miles). Waste cooking oil is powering the generators reducing the carbon impact of temporary power provision by 80%.

Longer term, SailGP has a programme to look to transition its support boat fleet to electric and hybrid vessels aligning with World Sailing's ambition for coach boats at future Olympic events. SailGP is also using recycled carbon and recycled plastic bottles in the tooling of the existing boats with plans to recycle all boat components into new products, on and off the boat in the coming year.

The newly launched SailGP Inspire programme not only aims to get young people onto the water but also, through Inspire Careers, looks to open the industry to young people who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity.

SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said, "This is an important day as we look be among the leaders in our sport and support the delivery of the Special Event Charter, setting an example of what can be done - from big to small initiatives. The aim is to inspire others to follow our example, and share our experiences and learnings to drive sustainability across global sport."

Dan Reading, World Sailing Head of Sustainability commented, "Special Events, as their name suggests, capture global interest from sailors and sports fans. They offer an excellent opportunity to showcase the sport, sailors and innovation. They also have an opportunity to use their voice and resources to tackle some of the key sustainability issues that we can collectively work towards.

"I'm grateful to our current and past Special Events for helping shape what we believe is a challenging, industry leading sustainability framework. The charter forms part of the contracts to become a special event and we will look to publish progress and foster partnerships on key targets."

About World Sailing Special Events:

World Sailing Special Event status ensures the world governing body formally recognises and sanctions major international sailing events. World Sailing support with promotional and marketing activities, Race Officials, Racing Rules of Sailing, Regulations and anti-doping and nationality rules.

The five sanctioned World Sailing Special Events include SailGP, World Match Racing Tour, Star Sailors League, PWA World Tour and the Global Kitesports Associations freestyle world tours.

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